Fish Producer Joins Food Trust, Blockchain Identity Solutions Advance in UK and US
By: Jordan R. Silversmith
Last week, a major Norwegian fish producer announced it will join the Food Trust – a permissioned, permanent and shared ledger of food system data stored on the blockchain – to improve traceability of its products and promote consumer trust across its supply chain. Corporate buyers, including select grocery stores in the United States and Canada, will be able to scan a QR code to obtain a history of the company’s arctic salmon and the feed it was raised on.
Three companies in the United Kingdom working in the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox recently announced their successful completion of a blockchain digital identity pilot. The program was conducted to study the ways financial institutions can use self-sovereign identity in customer onboarding and to reduce compliance costs. The companies plan to further develop the pilot to use self-sovereign identity for other services, such as renting a car or automated check-in at a hotel.
A leading American software company, in one of many efforts by members of the Decentralized Identity Foundation to create tools for COVID-19 response programs, released a beta version of its Bitcoin-based identity tool on Bitcoin mainnet earlier this week. The identity tool is intended to allow user-controlled logins that fit the needs of independent companies or services rather than having large system-providers own a user’s login credentials. Moving the open-source tool to Bitcoin mainnet will allow the public to use and test the beta version of the tool.
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Federal Reserve, CFI, OCC and NY DFS Address Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
By: Joanna F. Wasick
Both the Federal Reserve and its research initiative, the Consumer Finance Institute (CFI), recently issued statements related to blockchain and cryptocurrency in banking. Late last month, the Federal Reserve announced, in response to a question posed by Sen. Thomas Cotton, R-Ark., that it was considering whether AMERIBOR, a permissioned version of the Ethereum blockchain that captures interbank lending rates, was a suitable replacement for the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), a widely used benchmark for short-term interest lending rates that has been the subject of past manipulation scandals. This month, the CFI published a working paper on the creation and use of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), noting, among other things, that a CBDC could not only eliminate cash, but also give consumers the possibility of holding a bank account with the central bank directly.
Late last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the U.S. bank regulator, issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for public comment to update its rules for national bank and federal savings association activities. The OCC also released an advance notice of…